Monday, April 28, 2008

Hmmmm....

Hey There !!

Well, once again, after promising to resume regular blogging, it has been more than three weeks since my last post !! Time flies, doesn't it.

Life has continued to be busy, keeping me away from all you amazing people.

Chicky had a bit of an accident a couple of weeks back ... whilst crossing the road, she stepped off the kerb into a drain ... twisting and fracturing her ankle. We took her to the hospital, where they put her in plaster, saying she wasn't to put any weight on that foot for the time being, and made an appointment for her in a week's time. Two days before the appointment, Chicky was having a bath (her foot was covered with cling wrap, and was haning over the edge of the bath, to keep it dry), and when she stood up after her bath, of course the water went running down her leg, into the plastic, and down into the cast. Fortunately, it was only a half cast (a back slab, they called it, and it was bandaged up to keep it on her leg ... mainly to support the ankle, I guess), and we were able to remove it, before it got all mooshy and yucky !! Went to the appointment with the Orthopeadic (spelling !?!?!) Surgeon, who said the fracture was quite minor, and she was told that she could resume using the foot, using common sense (now, do teenagers have common sense !?!?!). She was given an elastic sock/bandage thingy, just to give her a bit of support. At this stage, she is still limping a little bit, the ankle gets tired and achy quickly, but is well on the mend. She can easily climb up and down stairs now, and is even attempting to run a little. I guess netball will still be a couple of weeks away, although she may attempt her dance class next week (she can easily sit out anything that is too awkward on the ankle).

Poor kid, she is having a bad run ... I picked her up early from school today ... she now has tonsilitis !! At this moment, she is coughing herself stupid, has a temperature, and generally feels like crap. She is on anti-biotics, and paracetemol. I'm guessing that as soon as the anti-biotics kick in, she will start feeling better !!

We went to a 50th birthday party last Saturday ... Hubby's brother's. It was an interesting night, to say the least. Saw some people who we hadn't seen for many years ... now that was an experience ... say no more !!

I have been doing a bit of scrapbooking ... that is fun ... and enjoying going through all my photos, picking out those I want to scrapbook. I have also enjoyed scouring through all the scrapbooking shops in the area ... wow, there is so much gorgeous stuff out there ... it would be easy to go mad and spend a fortune !! I am going to a scrapbooking show this upcoming weekend, in East Burwood, with a friend. Should be good ... lots of stuff to look at (and buy, LOL).

Not sure if I've mentioned it previously, but in August, I am going on a girls weekend to Phillip Island ... scrapbooking. Yes, a scrapbooking weekend !! And I can't wait. I have never been on a weekend away without my hubby and Chicky, never been on a girl's weekend. My friend, RL, scolded me, and told me that I should go on one, and invited me to join her and a couple of other friends on this upcoming weekend. I discussed it with Hubby and Chicky, and they encouraged me to go. Soooo, it is all paid for and organised. Now we just have to wait for August !!!

A couple of weeks ago, I caught up with some fellow bloggers for a 60th birthday lunch. Gina, whose birthday it was, was there ... as was Lee-Ann, Brigid, and another friend of Gina's, Jann. It was a lovely few hours ... we lunched at the Cherry Hill Tavern in Doncaster ... yummy food, good company, lots of chit-chat.

Ummm, not sure that I can think of anything else at this stage !!!

Hope you are all happy and healthy, and keeping out of mischief !!

Enjoy the upcoming weekend ...


Take care,

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Another Holiday, Another Bunch Of Photos !!

Hey there, everyone !

We got back from a 9 day camping holiday on Friday ... we had a lovely time, but it is always great to get home, and back into our own beds.

I have spent much of the weekend washing, and doing housework ... it really needed doing !!

Thought you might like a run-down on our trip, along with a few (well, quite a few !!) photos. I have reduced the size of the photos before uploading, as to upload them in their original size takes ages !! Hope they are big enough to enjoy !!

We left home on Thursday 27th March, heading north, toward Murray Sunset National Park, and the Pink Lakes area. It was raining when we left ... not a good omen. However, it stopped not far out of Melbourne, and what remained was blue skies and sunshine. We stopped in Bendigo for breakfast (McDonalds !), and continued on our way.

Early afternoon, we arrived at the National Park, and began exploring, trying to decide which camping area we would prefer. Both had their pros and cons, and we ended up choosing the second one we came to, due to the cleaner facilities (only a lone pit-toilet, but it was clean), and flatter camping areas.

We began unpacking the car, but stopped quickly, due to being surrounded by feral bees !! Quite scary, and very annoying. We didn't want to start our holiday with bee-stings, so we re-packed the car, and decided not to stay there !!

We explored the area, taking quite a few photos. This first one is of one of the salt lakes, which are, really, pink (although it doesn't really show up in this photo).

Apparently the pink hue is :due to the red pigment beta-carotene (the colour in carrots), secreted by the alga Dunaliella salina. During winter, highly saline ground water seeps down from the surrounding country into the lakes. The water evaporates during the intense heat of summer leaving shimmering salt beds." This following photo is a piece of the salt, held in Chicky's hand, showing how pink it actually is. Beneath the salt layer is black soil, really black like tar !!

Another photo of the lake ...


After exploring, we jumped back in the car, and got back onto the highway, in order to find ourselves somewhere to stay the night !! We ended up just over the Victoria / South Australia border, in a town called Pinaroo. The tiny caravan park was lovely, with clean amenities, and lovely grassy sites. We weren't to know, though, that all night long, the trucks would zoom past ... it felt like they were driving just outside our tent !! Didn't get much sleep ... oh well, life goes on.

Next day, we headed to Renmark, deciding to stay there an extra night ... 3 nights, rather than 2 ... we phoned ahead to check if that was OK .. it was !!

On the way, we had a lovely lunch in a bakery in Loxton ... yummy !!

On arrival in Renmark, we found our caravan park, and set up camp. We had a great site, right on the banks of the river. This is the view from our camp site ... (in the distance is Renmark township and the Renmark Hotel).

It is a beautiful part of the Murray River, really, really wide, and just serene. The following pic is the view through our tent front door ...

We had lots of birdy visitors ... ducks of various varieties, wild turkeys (annoying little critters), sea-gulls (why on earth they appear in the middle of the country, miles away from the coast, is beyond me !!), and this friendly pelican. He just sat there, for hours, posing for photos, preening, and just being a beautiful fellow (or girl, who knows !!). He was waiting for food, and came quite close (actually, that is frightening, as their beaks are very imposing !!).

Toward evening, we scored a magificent sunset ... I think I took way too many photos of it ... here are a couple of them (looking toward Renmark Hotel again) ...

On the Saturday, we had a lazy day, hanging around the caravan park ... the weather was a bit iffy ... we even had a little bit of rain ... nothing drastic, no damage done. It wasn't cold, thank goodness.

Next day, we went for a drive, along the Murray, exploring the lookouts and viewpoints. This photo is taken from the Murtho Forest Lookout ...

Monday, we packed up camp, and headed for Lake Mungo. We stopped in Mildura, and had a yummy lunch at Pizza Hut !!

Arrived at Lake Mungo mid afternoon, found the camp area, and set up camp. Then headed off to the lookout and "Wall of China" area. It is absolutely stunning here, and we were very lucky with the weather. You may remember, in September 2006, we travelled with some friends in this area, but were unable to stay here due to the high winds. We did, then, get some interesting photos ... although the sand was blowing through them all. This time around, nothing but blue skies and sunshine !!

This photo is of an Echidna, who was digging for it's dinner ... it was there for ages, and was quite big.

We explored the area, whilst waiting for the upcoming sunset. Lake Mungo is an archaeologically significant part of the Willandra Lakes World Heritage Area. 25 to 45,000 years ago the lake covered 135 square kilometres and was about 10 metres deep. It was one of a series of freshwater lakes in the area. The lakes dried up about 14,000 years ago. They are now a huge source of fossils. The original native vegetation was destroyed by overstocking of the properties, and later on by introduced animals (eg. rabbits). Now, the weather is continuing the erosion, producing the amazing formations that can now be found. Following are a few photos taken around the area ...

This photo shows the camping area. We are really, really happy with the tent, it is so roomy, and so quick and easy to put up and take down. Shame we have so much stuff, other than the tent, which takes time to pack into, and onto, the car !!


The next day, we climbed the dunes, and continued to explore. I was amazed at the little pockets of vegetation grown in the sand.

More photos around Lake Mungo ...

This was the highest sand dune in the area ... I climbed it !!! Aren't you proud of me !?!?! It was quite a climb, initially I didn't want to do it, but took on the challenge ... and, I could actually still breathe when I arrived at the top. It was quite a climb !!

Here, there, and everywhere, these pademelons grew ... the birds like the seeds, but I don't think they are edible for humans !!

As we explored some of the historical buildings in the area, I came across this birdy ... haven't had a chance to look him up yet, but he sure was cute ...

This was a shed in one of the properties left in the area ... it's structure fascinated me, as in the time it was built, there were no power tools, everything was done by hand. It is a beautiful old building.

A view from inside the same building ...


These little birdies were everywhere around the campsite. The hang out in large groups ... apparently, according to my Field Guide to the Birds of Australia, it is an Apostlebird. They are fun little birds, but got really annoying (they were very loud !!), as they came really close (cheeky buggers!), and seemed to hear from a distance whenever any food came out !!


On the morning we packed up, Wednesday morning, it had gotten very windy, and very overcast. We decided to skip breakfast, and get packed up ASAP. Fortunately, we were just stuffing the last items into the car, when it started drizzling. The rain didn't take hold at this stage, fortunately, as the roads out get very boggy when wet, and are usually closed to traffic with heavy rains.

Had a quick breakfast in Mildura, and decided to skip the next national park, due to the change in weather and high winds (and, potentially, more bees, as it was near the Pink Lakes national park !!)

We decided to head for Horsham, and on the way it got even windier, and we drove through a wicked dust storm ... at times we could barely see the road !! The following photos are the view through our windscreen ...

We overnighted in a nice motel in Horsham (didn't want to risk putting up the tent in that wind, and it was also raining quite heavily by this stage). A bit of luxury didn't go astray, either.

Next morning we decided to swap our powered tent-site, for a cabin in the caravan park in Halls Gap in the Grampians. The weather had turned very cold, and was still yucky !!

We explored the Grampians, as we headed for Halls Gap. The area was hit quite badly by the storm the previous day, with bits of trees and bark all over the roads. We stopped at McKenzie Falls ... simply beautiful.

The Grampians were quite devastated in the 2006/2007 summer bushfires. It was evident everywhere we went. I am still amazed (I know I have said this before) at how the bush regenerates after bushfires.

A view from the lookout ...

We spent a warm night in the cabin, then packed up, explored a bit more, then headed home a day early. It was too cold and wet to do much walking or hiking, unfortunately. The following is a view from the car, as were started travelling through the Southern Grampians.

We got a small taste of the wonderful area known as The Grampians, and have decided to come back again soon for an extended camping trip, in order to explore all the areas we were unable to this time.

All in all, we had a great trip, we are happy with our tent, and had a lovely time. It was a nice bonding time for the three of us. Fortunately, we enjoy each other's company ... mum, dad and daughter !!

So, that's about it from me this time around. Hope you have enjoyed my holiday run-down. Back to the grindstone tomorrow ... I am working Monday, Wednesday, Friday this week. Hope to be by for a visit soon. Look after yourselves, in the meantime.

Take care,